Peace Corps Volunteers work hard to complete three very important goals: share our American culture, values, and knowledge to our host community and country; learn from the host country's culture, values, and knowledge, and lastly, return home to America and share your experience with your fellow friends and family. This cycle helps promote peace and acceptance through the sharing of the experiences and lifestyles of Peace Corps Volunteers during their service. It helps to break down the ignorance and prejudice in our world while at the same time encouraging people to embrace those differences and be reminded of just how unique we all are.
Today I hope to expand on Goal #3 as I visit a local elementary school in Weymouth, MA to give a presentation on my Peace Corps experience thus far in the Kingdom of Tonga.
Almost one year ago, my mother, a second grade teacher at Ralph Talbot Elementary School, proposed an idea that would forever change the way this small Weymouth public school would communicate with the world.
She suggested that before I left for Tonga, I speak to the students on the mission of Peace Corps and describe my upcoming journey to the South Pacific country, Tonga. While I had but only Google images of the islands, and Wikipedia facts on Tonga's culture, housing, and fashion, I spoke to the students and left them with a Tongan dictionary in hopes that perhaps my mother's classroom could stay in touch by writing to myself and my Tongan community.
That short presentation was a wonderful opportunity to share why I wanted to become a PCV and where I was going and now, after almost a year and a half, I plan to visit Ralph Talbot again to share pictures and stories from the islands of Tonga!
I do hope to continue contact with the students for the remainder of my time out there. It has been a lot of fun sending pictures, letters and fun postcards to the kids and I know it really widens their perspecitve of the world and encourages them to learn about other peoples and walks of life.
Wish me luck! I hope I get through the school doors in my full Tongan dress!
'Ofa atu ka kimoutolu!